Sourdough Anadama Bread

Anadama bread is a traditional New England yeast bread which uses cooked cornmeal and molasses to give it its distinctive texture and sweetness. I recently ran across mention of the bread and was intrigued. I just happened to have about half a cup of Grandma’s Molasses in my pantry which I couldn’t think of a use for … a happy accident you say?


Oh, and since I had just taken my jar of sourdough starter out of the fridge to feed up, because I ran out of bread (horrors!), I decided to convert the recipe I had to sourdough.

This is a moist dense bread with a touch of sweetness and crunch in every bite. Great warm with a smear of room temperature butter or to dip into egg yolks for breakfast or brunch.

Sourdough Anadama Bread – makes about 1.1 kg dough, enough for 2 loaves baked in a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan

1 cup sourdough starter
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
3 1/4 – 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup room temperature water
1/4 cup cornmeal, fine or coarse
2 tbsp unsalted butter, margarine or shortening
1/2 cup molasses (Grandma’s molasses, fancy)
1 tsp salt

In a large mixing bowl with a lid (or use plastic wrap if it doesn’t have one) combine the sourdough starter, warm water and 2 cups of all purpose flour, reserving the rest of the flour for the next day. Cover and let sit at room temperature overnight (12-16 hrs).

The next day, place 1/2 cup room temperature water and the cornmeal in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter or margarine, salt and molasses. Let cool to lukewarm.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled cornmeal mixture with the sourdough mixture; stir until well blended.

Add the remaining flour about 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together into a ball, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.

Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and put in a warm place to rise until doubled in volume, about 1-2 hours depending on your starter.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a loaf. Place the loaf in a lightly greased 9×5 inch loaf pan. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes but it may take longer.

NOTE: I ended up with about 1.1 kg of dough, too much for a single pan, so I split the dough up into 2 loaves. I let them rise for about 1 hr 15 minutes before I judged they were ready to bake..

Pat the loaves down flat to distribute the dough evenly in the pan after shaping the loaf.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.


17 thoughts on “Sourdough Anadama Bread

  1. This bread looks beautiful! It has a nice crumb. I need to make sourdough starter again but that requires room in my fridge for the discard 😣

    1. I keep a small jar of starter in the fridge and since I only feed it a couple of tbsp once a week there isn’t a lot of discard to deal with. I bake once every couple of weeks or once a month. If I’m tempted to use it all up and take a break, there’s always the starter I dried to rehydrate when I want to bake SD again.

    1. It took a little while to get through the bread I had made. Today I’m making 2 different loaves of the no knead sourdough so I’m going to have a stash for the freezer.

  2. Love it!! I haven’t had anadama bread for years…not since I used to make it when I was young…I did quite a bit of breadmaking for a few years – this is inspiring!

    1. Thank you for the kind remark. I just learned about this kind of bread recently and wanted to give it a try. Tasty stuff especially warm out of the oven.

  3. I have tried this recipe and not impressed with the results. Have made regular Anadama bread with yeast and it turns out great every time.

  4. I’m so happy I found this recipe! This was the only sour dough starter anadama bread recipe I could find. It was very wet to work with but totally worth it- came out great… didn’t rise much but didn’t matter, the whole family loved it. Thank you!

    1. Glad you liked it. For a first try/experiment with the whole concept of anadama as well as turning it into a sourdough recipe, I was pretty happy with the result.

  5. It also makes a nice single tall loaf in a 10″ (rather than 9″) bread pan. Really nice flavor and texture, and very easy to slice thin for sandwiches (unlike most of the other sourdough breads I’ve made recently). Have my second batch in initial stage now.

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